Paula Lopez facing four months in jail

April 23, 2016
Paula Lopez

Paula Lopez

Former news anchor Paula Lopez Ochoa pled no contest Friday to one count of driving under the influence, two counts of delaying or resisting a peace officer, one count of refusing a chemical test, and one count of battery on a peace officer in a agreement in which she will spend 120 days in the Santa Barbara County Jail.

As part of the plea agreement, Lopez is required to abstain from alcohol for three years, obey all laws, attend three Alcoholics Anonymous meetings per week for three years, attend counseling and take the anti-alcohol drug Antabuse for three years. If she violates the terms of the agreement, she faces three years in jail.

Ochoa is expected to report to Santa Barbara County Jail by July 22. However, there is a possibility the county sheriff’s office will allow her to wear a monitoring bracelet instead of serving jail time.

Ochoa, who was a longtime news anchor for KEYT and KCOY, is married to retired Santa Barbara County judge Frank Ochoa. Frank Ochoa stepped down from the bench last year.

On the evening of Sept. 6, Paula Ochoa drove her Toyota Prius the wrong way on Highway 101. Sheriff’s deputies then found the Prius parked at a golf course in Goleta. When a sheriff’s deputy and a CHP officer tried to arrest her, she assaulted the officers.

Prosecutors said Ochoa drove with a blood alcohol content above .15 on the evening of her arrest. She refused to submit to a chemical test.

In July 2013, Ochoa was arrested near her Santa Barbara home on suspicion of public intoxication. Earlier that year, she was reported missing by her family, which prompted a brief but intense search near her home.

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Sounds fair.

Is this some of that “white privilege” I keep hearing about?

she is a Latina!!!! and 4 months in jail is no “privilege”

Thank You!!!

(I was being facetious)

Well, unless you actually know anything about what the legal guidelines direct in her circumstances, then you can’t possibly provide an unbiased opinion. If she wasn’t so popular a name, you wouldn’t have even noticed…

So when did county sheriff’s get to decide how you will serve your jail sentence?

Another alcohol for 3 years! That’s cruel and unusual punishment.

How would we know what people without connections get? Unless it’s a celebrity of sorts, we often don’t even get the name of the person. I wonder how often dui s are not even mentioned in the paper.

“…battery on a peace officer…”

She’d be going to state prison were it not for the fact she’s married to a retired judge…

I am grateful that there was no accident, no one injured, no one killed because this woman chose to drink and drive; her actions speak clearly that she apparently feels she does not need to follow the laws that govern us mere mortals, the common folk. With her celebrity, her marriage to a judge, I certainly hope that she is NOT allowed to “serve” her time via a monitoring device – such an action by the DA will show that preference was given to her stature and connections. Anyone without such connections would be in jail now, and would serve time, period. I do hope that she does follow through on all of the conditions and does get some help in dealing with her addiction.

I really doubt you are even aware of the typical DUI sentencing in the County. If you were, I don’t think you’d argue that she is being given special preference. I think this sentence is actually pretty strict and see no special consideration being given here. My coworker was arrested for a 2nd DUI offense and was given a monitor to wear for 4 months. He had to blow into a breathalyzer 3 times a day. If he failed any of the breathalyzer tests, he would be put in jail to finish out his 4 month sentence. If Paula violates the terms of her agreement, she faces 3 years in jail. 3 years! That is a long time for missing an AA meeting. Granted one missed meeting would likely not trigger the full 3 years, but if I was her, I wouldn’t want to risk it.

That is a very generous plea deal.